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March 12, 2016

Flash floods feared as rains continue to hit KP


March 12, 2016

PESHAWAR: The rains that began late Thursday night continued to lash majority of the districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while the Metrological (Met) Office predicted more rains tonight (Friday) that may trigger flash floods in upper parts of the province and adjoining tribal belt.

The Met Office reported that widespread rains were recorded with Dera Ismail Khan, 18 millimeter (mm), Dir, 15mm,Timargara,14 mm, Cherat,11mm, Bannu, Malam Jabba and Parachinar 9 mm each, Kohat and Risalpur, 8 mm, Saidu Sharif, 7mm, Mirkhani,4 mm, Peshawar 3 mm, Drosh, 1mm and Balakot received light shower.

Mushtaq Ali Shah, director, Met Office Peshawar, predicted that more widespread rain and thundershower with sporadic flashfloods were expected in Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Kohat, Hangu, Karak, Peshawar, Nowshera, Charsadda, Mardan Swabi, Malakand, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Chitral, Swat, Shangla, Buner, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Torghar, Kohistan, Haripur, tribal agencies of Khyber, Bajaur, Mohmand, Kurram and North and South Waziristan.

Many link roads in remote parts of Hazara division remained blocked following the landslide triggered by the heavy rains.He said that Mardan, Kohat regions and upper areas would receive a heavy rain tonight (Friday) while tomorrow (Saturday), Hazara division and Swat may receive heavy downpour that may also cause flashfloods in seasonal nullahs.

However, he ruled out any heavy flooding in the rivers passing through the province due the current spell of rain.Some areas, including Swabi, mountainous parts of Nowshera, Mardan, Kohat, Hangu, Mohmand and Khyber agencies may also be hit by hailstorms during the next two-day raining, he added.

The director Met Office informed the current spell would intermittently continue till Sunday. He also informed another weather system will enter Khyber Pakhtunkhwa via Dera Ismail Khan that would cover most of the upper and western parts of the province after two or three-day interval in the current spell.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has, meanwhile, issued red alerts to all the deputy commissioners on Friday that the heavy rain would start tonight (Friday night). The PDMA also directed Irrigation Department for quick response during flash flooding.

The PDMA spokesman Latifur Rehman said their control room would remain active round-the-clock to take public calls on 091-9213959, 9213845 or 9223662.

He said that they were in contact with all the district administrations and they have also completed preparations to cope with the flooding in rivers as well.

The official said the PDMA had taken onboard all entities dealing with the disaster and crisis including Rescue 1122 and Civil Defence, while Water and Sanitation Service Peshawar (WSSP) is also on board in Peshawar for service delivery in case of eventuality during the current rain.

Director administration, PDMA, Muhammad Khalid added that deputy commissioners had been directed to inform residents of the low-lying and vulnerable areas to remain alert.

H said that help from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had also been attained for sending warning and information to the people of these areas on their cell-phones, he said.

Recue 1122 has also announced emergency and its spokesperson Bilal Ahmed Faizi said that as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a flood-prone province, therefore, they, in collaboration with the PDMA and Relief and Rehabilitation Department, had worked out a strategy for any situation during the rainfall and consequent flooding.

He said the Rescue 1122 was the only professional entity having trained divers and boats that had also been put on high alert. The Rescue 1122 would focus on the medical relief which is its area of service and it has finalised arrangements for purpose.

Faizi said that the Rescue 1122 operated only in Peshawar and Mardan, but in these two stations teams have been formed to respond to any emergency in the nearby districts.

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